Poster & Networking Reception

Starting down the path of The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching: Elective Community Engagement Classification 

Point Park University is at the heart of the next renaissance in downtown Pittsburgh.  Seated at the gates to the confluence, this storied, tenured institution has a pulse on Pittsburgh, and is making a new name for itself in the region. Acting as a catalyst for driving innovation, the University is positioning itself to diversify, engage, and execute programming that its peers have yet to imagine.  Further, it is at the very epicenter of the phoenix of the rust belt. By being the only university situated in downtown proper, the college has the opportunity to embed itself into the very framework that makes up this historic, growing, steel town. The Ph.D. in Community Engagement at Point Park University is an interdisciplinary program with the mission to engage current and future leaders in business, government and non-profit sectors to work together with communities and to become agents of change who inspire others and foster prosperity in diverse community settings. Through this program and other programs/service offerings, there is an ever present theme of collaboration and community partnership within the university. Point Park University is currently in the process of seeking the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching (Elective) Community Engagement Classification. This presentation will outline the journey the University is taking towards achieving the Carnegie Foundation Community Engagement Classification and will be led by two Community Engagement Ph.D. students that are working closely with University administration to guide the Classification process with the goal of proving large-scale University community engagement.   

 

Presenters:

  • Michael Harding Jr., Trade Communications Supervisor/ Ph.D. Student, BNY Mellon/Point Park University
  • Jennifer Bailey, Operational Risk Management/ Ph.D. Student, PNC Bank/Point Park University

Presentation Type: Thinking Big Dialogue

Key Words: Institutional Change, Urban Development, Community Development, University-Community Partnerships, Neighborhood Support, Diversity

  

Study Abroad in Mexico: California State University Fullerton Programs, Partners, and Participants

California State University Fullerton is one of the largest public universities in California and is identified as a comprehensive, regional university with a global outlook. Cal State Fullerton is designated a Hispanic Serving Institution and recognized for its diverse student body. Presenters connect two institutional priorities participation of diverse students in study abroad and implementation of a California-Mexico Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed by leaders in government and higher education to expand institutional partnerships and collaborations.    Presenters provide institutional context including strategic plan goals and strategies, discuss institutional efforts to support study abroad, outline capacity building and faculty engagement strategies, and review study abroad participation rates and trends.  Systematic outreach with Mexican Higher Education Institutions is emphasized based on institutional partnership goals and related opportunity to build scale and reciprocity in study abroad.     Data indicates a 34% increase in study abroad participation from AY 12/13 to AY 14/15 and references participation rates as aligned with university demographics including first gen/other, race/ethnicity, and financial aid/Pell Grant qualification.  Specific mobility initiatives including launch of an inaugural President's Strategic Fund (PSF) to provide stipends for study abroad/study away program development and student scholarships for January-session programs are reviewed.  Panelists include faculty who received PSF awards for Mexico-based programs and present outcome data.  Issues of access, opportunity, and rationale for study abroad will be considered and actively discussed in this session.  Further, presenters will emphasize inter and intra institutional coordination essential to achieving specific outreach and participation goals.   


Presenters:

  • Kari Knutson Miller, Associate Vice President, International Programs, California State University, Fullerton
  • Dean Kazoleas, Professor, Department of Communications; Director, Maxwell Center for International Communications, California State University Fullerton
  • Julián Jefferies, Assistant Professor, Literacy and Reading Education; Director, Guadalajara Transnational Migration Program, California State University Fullerton
  • Rose Adams, Lecturer, Art History, California State University Fullerton

Presentation Type: Proven Program

Key Words: International Partnerships

  

The Truest Kind of Partner: The Symbiotic Relationship Between Don Bosco Cristo Rey High School and D.C. Area Universities

This poster presentation will describe the multi-dimensional, symbiotic relationship between several Washington, D.C. universities and Don Bosco Cristo Rey High School, a college preparatory high school serving low income students from the D.C. metropolitan area.     Part of the national Cristo Rey Network of schools, DBCR employs the unique Cristo Rey model:  students receive a rigorous college preparatory curriculum in the classroom four days each week and spend the fifth day working in professional job placements facilitated by the school's Corporate Work Study Program.  The work study program provides DBCR students meaningful work experience and practical education, and contributes to the cost of the students' education.  DBCR has multi-faceted relationships with a number of area universities, and these relationships have proven to be mutually beneficial to both the high school and the partner universities.  Using Georgetown University as a case study, the presentation will describe the wide ranging aspects of these relationships (i.e., employer, work study placements, tutoring and mentoring, research, student teaching, faculty, professional development, board service, undergraduate recruitment), and the ways these relationship have brought value to all participants.  The Cristo Rey Network includes 30 schools in 30 different cities across the U.S., so this presentation is of relevance to universities nationally, many of which are co-located near another Cristo Rey high school. 

  

Presenters:

  • Lauralyn Lee Chair of the Board of Directors, Georgetown University
  • Michael Conway, President, Don Bosco Cristo Rey High School

Presentation Type: Proven Program

Key Words: K-12+ Higher Education Partnerships, University-Community Partnerships

 

Understanding Leadership Across Generations: A Community Engaged Service Learning Model

We millennials are constantly told, you are the future. However, we easily dismiss the magnitude of what this four word phrase means for our reality. Youth has allowed us to avoid stepping up as the leaders necessary for a functional future. Through our Honors Gerontology/English project at the University of Nebraska Omaha, we discovered what the past generation did to reach an understanding of leadership, worked with high schoolers to gain an intergenerational perspective, and created important relationships. Thus we are better positioned to chart the future.  Our professor gave us an elder partner, whose life story we learned. As we developed a relationship with our elder, we not only learned about a different generational lifestyle, but we were exposed to a mindset that should survive through future generations, including defining an everyday hero as a person who champions a persevering attitude, a diligent work ethic, and an unequivocal selflessness. To bridge generations and expand community engagement, we engaged three generations creating a learning dialogue, thus requiring us to be effective communicators. The experience from our gerontology project has pushed the status quo of our leadership expectations, raised concerns about our priorities, and, above all, provided insight on the past to use as the premise for paving a future we're proud to lead. Our presentation of this service learning course project will enable its replication in other universities, thereby empowering others to chart their future from their pasts and to combine generational experiences across K-16 partnerships and beyond. 

  

Presenters:

  • Emma Franklin, University of Nebraska at Omaha
  • Bailey  Sweeney, University of Nebraska Omaha
  • Lyn Holley, University of Nebraska at Omaha

Presentation Type: Proven Program

Key Words: K-12+ Higher Education Partnerships, University-Community Partnerships, Neighborhood Support, Diversity

 

Mapping Omaha: A Geographic Assessment of the Service Learning P-16 Initiative

Racial divide in Omaha, NE is apparent- African Americans in the north, Latinos in the south, and Whites in the west, which is visually depicted in Cable's racial dot map (2013). Beyond racial segregation, according to city data in 2013, 31% of the population are below the poverty level in North Omaha and 22.5% in South Omaha. These two regions result in a 30% poverty rate compared to 18% for all of Omaha. This clearly indicates that not only is the poverty rate higher for North and South regions of Omaha, but this specifically hits the African American and Latino population.  The Omaha Public Schools district serves low-income students (73%) and minority students (71%) with the lowest graduation rates residing in North and South Omaha during the 2014 academic year. The University of Nebraska Omaha created a P-16 Service Learning initiative to specifically address poverty and its residual effects such as: educational achievement gaps, high dropout rates, disengaged youth, and high truancy rates. Due to the link between poverty and the negative effects on student's academic achievements, the P-16 initiative was created to serve the Omaha community by focusing on P-12 schools where 75% of attending families are below the poverty level.  Our geographic map will quantitatively highlight the racial segregation which is associated with high poverty levels and where the P-16 Initiative has served the at risk population. Additionally the map will be used as an assessment tool to identify areas of need and where our presence is needed.

 

Presenters:

  • Rosa Nãjera, Graduate Assistant, University of Nebraska at Omaha
  • Samantha Kanouse, Program Assessment & Evaluation Associate, University of Nebraska Omaha- Service Learning Academy 

Presentation Type: Thinking Big Dialogue

Key Words: K-12+ Higher Education Partnerships

 

Service Learning to Engage Students and Communities

Our presentation explores the benefits of advanced research methods in introductory classes of Western Art History taught at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, with service learning fostering our simultaneous community engagement. Rather than taking place in a traditional lecture hall, the class was held at the Joslyn Art Museum in Omaha to give students direct interaction with artwork. Employees, including curators and directors, were also invited to speak to the class to introduce possible careers in museum management. Our class' innovative and dynamic central project involved visiting and learning about art institutions that serve local people. The focus of the project included researching the region of North Omaha, which is home to a historically marginalized African-American population. Students then presented at a community symposium with the goal of informing the public of the cultural heritage and current developments occurring in the area. As students, this service learning opportunity provided us with firsthand experience of not only the course material, but its applications in urban and metropolitan areas. Such engaged learning efforts inspire an appreciation of community and create an alternative class format that builds connections and a more positive future. Our presentation will outline how other urban institutions can also adopt and adapt our model to chart their future learning opportunities and encourage community engagement.

 

Presenters:

  • Adrian Duran, Associate Professor, University of Nebraska at Omaha
  • Sara Bihlmaier, Student, University of Nebraska at Omaha
  • Leah Strong, Student, University of Nebraska at Omaha

Presentation Type: Proven Programs

Key Words: Community Development, University-Community Partnerships, Innovations in Higher Education

 

Measuring Success: What do Students Get for Their Time and Tuition? 

While faculty and university administrators hope our students are gaining valuable knowledge and skills from our courses and programs, how do we know for sure? What approaches do we use to measure what students gain for their investment of time and tuition? What processes do we have in place to gather meaningful data to inform our decisions for continual refinement of our programs? As students have more options than ever for what they study, where they learn and how they access that knowledge, universities are under increasing pressure to show students, families, communities, and accrediting bodies proof of learning.   This presentation will share impact results from two programs- a metropolitan undergraduate program with approximately 1200 students that relies heavily on community partner collaboration and an urban graduate literacy program with approximately 225 working adults. Five years ago 1 in 10 students was removed from the undergraduate program but using data to drive discussions, students now have a much higher success rate and the program has proof of student growth in knowledge and skills.  The graduate program is a partnership between a large urban school district and the metropolitan university where the leadership team made data the driver for programmatic decisions that resulted in measurable learning for the participants.  In considering how these two programs use data to inform their practice and how that process helps the university show its value to students, participants can consider their own programs and practices.   

 

Presenters:

  • Sarah Edwards, Chairperson, Teacher Education Department, University of Nebraska at Omaha
  • Connie Schaffer, Assessment Coordinator, University of Nebraska at Omaha

Presentation Type: Proven Programs

Key Words: K-12+ Higher Education Partnerships, Workforce Development, Institutional Change, University-Community Partnerships, Innovations in Higher Education

 

Charting the Future: Cross-Campus Partnerships for Institutional Change

Discover what it takes to make a successful collaboration work: use synergy between units and colleagues to build on the strengths of each, resulting in a stronger partnership than could be achieved alone.  Hear lessons learned from the University of Notre Dame's Department of Romance Languages and Literatures and the Center for Social Concerns. Presenters will share best practices and insights gained from the collaboration of two university units that developed an idea into an engaged program over eight years.  See the timeline mapped out which has involved five faculty members teaching twenty-three Community-Based Learning (CBL) class sections with more than 250 CBL students who together with an additional 600+ Spanish students who did 15,000 hours of engaged learning in the local community.    Discover how you can chart your program's future by connecting to your school's strategic plans, support professional development for faculty and program leaders so they can build strong community-university partnerships, and grow in intentional, strategic ways that tie program development to student learning outcomes.  Find out what infrastructure and institutional support can be sought or developed to transform outcomes to outputs that move toward community and program impacts.  Distinguish between indirect and direct programming within a continuum of experiential learning options, service in the community, and CBL courses for academic credit. Presenters will also share challenges and next steps to address.  Take-aways will include resources like a bibliography of pertinent literature, a how-to faculty guide, and information on professional development opportunities.  

  

Presenters:

  • Rachel Parroquin, Director of Spanish Community-Based Learning, University of Notre Dame
  • Connie Mick, Director of Community-Based Learning and co-director of the Poverty Studies Interdisciplinary Minor, Center for Social Concerns, University of Notre Dame
  • Shauna Williams, Associate Professional Specialist, Director of Undergraduate Studies and Assistant Chair, Romance Languages and Literature, University of Notre Dame

Presentation Type: Proven Programs

Key Words: Institutional Change, University-Community Partnerships, Social Justice, Diversity, Innovations in Higher Education

 

Student versus Community Perceptions of the Value of Engaged Learning: Exploring Overlap and Divergence at the Program Level

This presentation explores where students and community partners overlap and diverge in their perception of the value of community engaged learning strategies at the program level.  The Tourism and Hospitality (TAH) Degree Program at the University of Southern Maine is highly engaged with the local community and the Maine tourism industry, producing workforce leaders in Maine's strongest industry. TAH classes at all levels utilize community engaged learning strategies of some form. Research has been conducted assessing the value that current students, alumni, and community partners assign the various types of community engagement in TAH classes in order to develop Best Practice Guidelines for the USM TAH program.  This research also informs a broader analysis and discussion of what level (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th year) each type of community engagement (guest speakers, field trips, group projects, internships, etc.) might best contribute to student learning as well as satisfy the motivation/need of community partners.  

 

Presenters:

  • Tracy Michaud-Stutzman, Chair, Tourism and Hospitality Progra, University of Southern Maine

Presentation Type: Thinking Big Dialogue

Key Words: Economic Development, Workforce Development, Community Development, University-Community Partnerships, Innovations in Higher Education

 

Unpacking Diversity in the Higher-Ed Classroom: Thinking Big to Make Way for a Better Future 

Colleges and universities represent spaces of student enlightenment and transformation. The higher-ed classroom in particular is a place where students can not only learn practical skills to succeed within a constantly evolving job market, but where students can engage in critical discourse on social, cultural and political issues. By working to deepen our students' awareness and understanding of significant challenges faced by diverse communities, educators can help students unpack the preconceived notions and unconscious biases we all face in navigating an increasingly diverse society.   With the rise of social justice movements stemming from police brutality in urban cities to the fight for marriage equality, the need to equip and empower students with the theoretical and practical tools and opportunities to effectively engage diverse topics and communities is vital now more than ever. From teaching students how to decode media messages and instructing students on utilizing digital media as a social justice tool, to providing opportunities for students to interact with diverse communities through in-class service-learning projects, higher-ed instructors must now think of how they can use innovative technologies to help their students better engage communities.   

 

Presenters:

  • Rowena Briones Winkler, Managing Director, Oral Communication Program, Department of Communication, University of Maryland
  • Danielle Catona, Assistant Professor, Ramapo College

Presentation Type: Thinking Big Dialogue

Key Words: Civic Learning, Institutional Change, Social Justice, Diversity, Innovations in Higher Education

 

Implications of Reciprocity Perspectives in University Community Engagement Activities

Higher education institutions have identified the adoption of community engagement practices as a promising strategy to increase both student performance and their economic impact in the community. Unfortunately, the adoption of such strategies has encountered challenges as resistance still prevails among higher education institutions. Divergent conceptualizations of community engagement activities and the reciprocal relationship expected between institutions and community partners might be creating additional constraints in the implementation process. This proposed study examines the implications community partners' definition of reciprocity has in the way in which higher education institutions are implementing and evaluating their community engagement activities. Through the use focus groups, surveys, and interviews, the researcher seeks to develop a comprehensive definition of the term reciprocity in the community engagement context based on community partners' perspectives. Florida Atlantic will serve as case study in supporting a collaborative approach to term's definition may indicate sustainability and productivity of community-engaged activities.     

 

Presenters:

  • Aloha Balza, Research Assistant, Florida Atlantic University

Presentation Type: Thinking Big Dialogue

Key Words: University-Community Partnerships

 

Optimizing Campus Mobility with a focus on Sustainability: A Graph Theory Approach to Intra-Campus Transportation Networks

The idea of public transportation is supported by most in theory but often heavily criticized by  users when put into application. There are common tensions that are related to public  transportation, as described by frequent users: unreliable, too crowded, and slow. The  University of Nebraska-Omaha (UNO) is a growing metropolitan institution that uses a shuttle  system to transport students among their three campuses daily. As of 2015, the current total  student enrollment is approximately 16,000; UNO plans to enroll 20,000 students by 2020. The  expected student growth is also reflected by the current construction of new buildings and  expansion of UNO's campus. Like most metropolitan universities, space and parking on a  college campus is a limited resource, and UNO's shuttle transportation system plays a vital role  in ensuring student mobility between campuses. With growing pressure from the UNO  community to improve kinesis there is a need to optimize intra-campus transportation in an  environmentally sustainable manner. To alleviate the tensions involved with the UNO shuttle  system, we have created an algorithm to model shuttle routes using graph theory. Once  modeled, our program chooses an optimized route based on various conditions: time, volume of  students anticipated to use the shuttle, and fuel cost. The algorithm created can be used to  optimize transportation routes, alleviate user tension, and decrease the carbon footprint of  transportation networks. Our project thus charts the future by improving student transportation  methods and people movement between urban campuses in an environmentally friendly and  efficient way.

 

Presenters:

  • Quinn Nelson, Undergraduate Student, University of Nebraska at Omaha
  • Donald Steffensmeier, Undergraduate Student, University of Nebraska at Omaha
  • Sachin Pawaskar, Senior Research Fellow, University of Nebraska at Omaha

Presentation Type: How-To

Key Words: Urban Development, Environmental Sustainability

 

Leveraging University & P-12 Partnerships to Challenge the Perceptions and Question the Assumptions of Future Urban Teachers and Teacher Leaders

The future of metropolitan universities will demand institutions to maximize existing partnerships and push beyond addressing diversity to promoting social justice in urban environments.  This presentation will describe a proven approach to do this by leveraging existing partnerships between university programs and urban P-12 schools. The increased racial, ethnic, linguistic, and socio-economic diversity found in urban P-12 schools requires universities to assist teachers in understanding how these demographic variables impact teaching. Teachers can gain knowledge of self and others through the use of the autobiography, biography, and cross-cultural analysis.  The use of this model allows individuals to connect home, school, and community in order to gain greater cultural and contextual understanding of themselves and their students. It also encourages pre-service and in-service teachers to examine their perceptions of urban schools as an important precursor to teaching P-12 students in urban settings and ultimately challenge systemic injustices related to urban education. The activity was implemented with in-service teachers (preschool to high school) in urban schools.  The teachers were enrolled in an existing graduate literacy leadership program co-designed through an existing P-12 and higher education partnership. The activity was also implemented within a summer urban teacher academy which partnered urban high school students with faculty from an urban teacher preparation program. Qualitative analysis of the activity supported five distinct stages of cognitive dissonance related to urban schools and the students who attend them. The developmental stages culminate in preparing individuals to teach from a social justice perspective.

    

Presenters:

  • Connie Schaffer, Associate Professor, University of Nebraska at Omaha
  • Meg White, Assistant Professor, Stocton University
  • Corine Meredith Brown, Assistant Professor, Rowan University

Presentation Type: Proven Programs

Key Words: K-12+ Higher Education Partnerships, Social Justice, Diversity

 

P-16 service learning outcomes: Charting new paths to partner and assess innovative collaborations

Commitment to quality service learning instruction at the higher education level has been a major tactic used to achieve the metropolitan mission at the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO).  As service learning has become institutionalized across the campus, expansion to include the P-12 area schools and teachers became not only an important next step in relationship development, but also a means to better serve the Omaha community. To that end, UNO has been partnering with P-12 schools and non-profit organizations for five years to create the P-16 Initiative, a unique model of service learning in which P-12 teachers, UNO faculty members, and non-profit partners co-create service learning experiences to meet state standards, course learning goals, and community-identified needs. These experiences are unique in that they are co-created with a P-12 teacher, UNO faculty member, and non-profit partner; traditional models show P-12 students served by higher education students in service learning courses. The presentation will explore the assessment tools utilized to understand this unique partnership and how students are reporting change. The research presented will answer the following research questions:  1. What are the identified knowledge, skills and abilities identified from students at the University of Nebraska at Omaha that are participating in a service learning course with a P-12 partner?  2. How do students' self-reported outcomes of their experiences change before and after their service learning experience?  

  

Presenters:

  • Julie Dierberger, P-16 Coordinator, University of Nebraska at Omaha
  • Samantha Kanouse, Program Evaluation and Assessment Associate, University of Nebraska at Omaha

Presentation Type: Proven Programs

Key Words: K-12+ Higher Education Partnerships, University-Community Partnerships, Innovations in Higher Education

 

Faculty, Newspapers, and Students: Why Connect These Dots in 2016 and Beyond? 

Even in a world of disappearing print, faculty members often assume that students are familiar with newspapers as a credible source of information. Most students, particularly those at urban and metropolitan universities, do not read newspapers either on-line or in print. The relationship between newspaper readership on college campuses and civic participation is both important and understudied. This presentation reviews three elements that have created successful integration of newspapers into courses at the University of Nebraska Omaha with attention to the relationship between students reading the newspaper and their level of civic engagement. Specifically, the project examines eight years of faculty participation, curriculum development, and student responses. Based on surveys conducted at structured campus events called Campus Conversations, we find that newspaper readership in the classroom shares a positive relationship with the likelihood of student participation in on-campus civic events. We argue that the program has a strong positive effect on how well-informed the students are on world events. Research has shown that reading national newspapers combats student political disengagement, and using national newspapers in the classroom promotes critical thinking.   In conclusion, this project, by closely examining the relationship of newspaper readership on college campuses and civic engagement, advocates for newspaper access and use to promote information literacy and engagement of college students.

 

Presenters:

  • Maria Anderson Knudtson, Lecturer, University Of Nebraska at Omaha
  • Jody  Neathery-Castro, Chair, Dept. of Political Science, University of Nebraska 
  • Megan Bennett, Graduate Student, University of Nebraska Omaha

Presentation Type: Proven Programs

Key Words: Civic Learning, Healthy Communities

 

Empowered Students, Happy Butterflies: Using a Rain Garden Project to Enhance Urban Habitat, Student Learning, P-16 Service Learning Outcomes, and Community Engagement 

P16 Service Learning is a powerful and innovative education tool that can be used to attain better student learning outcomes through the utilization of experiential learning in service to the community.  This presentation focuses on a successful STEAM concepts-based service learning project that involved the collaborative programming and design of a rain garden/research area on the campus of Omaha Northwest High School (ONW). Using the project as a case study, we will discuss the specific elements that ensured a successful, impactful project and the generation of a variety of additional direct benefits to our university, the Omaha Public School District, and the greater Omaha community.  The specific project elements we will explore in this presentation include: development of a sound P16 service learning project design; creation of a successful partnership between UNO and ONW; cultivation of strong UNO and ONW classroom and student relationships; and how we used our project to strengthen connections between UNO to the Omaha community through the relevant topic of environmental sustainability.
  

    

Presenters:

  • Steve Rodie, Prof.-Biology, Dir.-Center for Urban Sustainability, University of Nebraska at Omaha
  • John Matthews, Project Coordinator - Service Learning Academy, University of Nebraska Omaha

Presentation Type: Proven Programs

Key Words: K-12+ Higher Education Partnerships, Environmental Sustainability, University-Community Partnerships, Innovations in Higher Education

 

Institutional upward mobility and implications for developmental education

This poster presentation will consist of some findings from Texas, Florida, and other states nationwide where developmental education is being limited at 4-year institutions.  So-called 'striving' institutions are often pushed to more heavily pursue graduate education and more traditional, academically prepared students while they also try to number the amount of developmental education services they provide.  However, developmental education is crucially important to the students in urban populations who may be more likely to attend K-12 schools that did not adequately prepare them for college-level work.  Therefore, literature, empirical data, and ideas will be shared about how institutional upward mobility does not have to come at the sake of underprepared students and developmental education services.

 

Presenters:

  • Erin Doran, Senior Student Development Specialist, University of Texas at San Antonio

Presentation Type: Thinking Big Dialogue

Key Words: Institutional Change, Social Justice

 

Villa VCU Mentoring Partnership

For the past two years, first-year Virginia Commonwealth University undergraduates enrolled in a general education seminar, Focused Inquiry, have served as mentors for students at St. Joseph's Villa, the nation's longest continually operating non-profit. The Villa provides special, nontraditional, and alternative education to students from the Richmond area. Since September 2014, 40 VCU first-year students have provided 40+ hours each of near peer mentoring to Villa students diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, emotional disabilities, specific learning disabilities, intellectual disabilities, and other health impairments, as well as students who have been suspended or expelled from public schools, and finally, students who benefit from a more holistic approach to education. The VCU students visit the Villa to offer mentoring and support, and each semester, Villa students can earn up to five trips to VCU, where they participate in student-designed activities, eat lunch with their mentors, and attend classes. VCU first-year students have provided the Villa students with relatable peer mentors in a college setting, helping to make post-secondary education seem a more attainable possibility. On the other hand, VCU first-year undergraduates have benefited from having an authentic, meaningful focus for their academic work in their class. We have found this to be a fruitful collaboration, and innovative in that it connects first-year undergraduates, a population that has fewer opportunities for service learning, with their community. We'd love an opportunity to discuss our program and possibilities for future growth. 

  

Presenters:

  • Beth Kreydatus, Associate Professor, Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Matthew Kreydatus, Director, Career and Transitions Services, St. Joseph's Villa

Presentation Type: Proven Programs

Key Words: K-12+ Higher Education Partnerships, University-Community Partnerships, Diversity, Innovations in Higher Education

 

 

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